Botanical Name : Catharanthus roseus
English Name : Madagascar periwinkle, Vinca rosa
Sanskrit Name : Sadafuli
Catharanthus roseus is a herb common in India. It is found in many parts of the tropical world, like USA, Australia, Africa and southeast Asia.
This plant is a member of Apocynaceae plant family.
This is a perennial under shrub, it grows to a height of about 24 cm. The bark is cinnamon brown in color. The leaves are glabrous. The flowers are white or pink, solitary or germinate, axillary. The follocles are paired or narrowly linear, longitudinally ribbed and shortly beaked. The seeds are black, cylindric and ribbed. The flowering season is through out the year.
In Ayurveda the leaves,the seeds, the flowers and the roots are used for treatment of leukemia, diabetes, menorrhagia.
Contains more than 70 alkaloids mostly of the indole type.
It has medicinal importance owing to the presence of alkaloids like Ajamalicine,
Serpentine and Reserpine, which are well known for their hypotensive and
Periwinkle roseus is one of the few medicinal plants which has found mention in the folk
medicinal literature as early as 2nd B.C.
Vincristine is an alkaloid derived from flowering periwinkle.
Its use is limited because of its toxic effects, among them being neuro toxicity.
The rootbark contains the alkaloid Alstonine which has been used traditionally for its
calming effect and its ability to reduce blood pressure.
The anti cancer drug namely Vincristine and Vinblastine are produced from Periwinkle
Animal repellent activity Anithyperglycemic activity Antiascariasis activity
Anti-inflamatory Antimalarial Antimitotic
Antibacterial Antihyperglycemic Antihypertensive
Antifertility Antihypercholesterolemic Antimutagenic
Antidiuretic Antifungal Antispasmodic
Antiviral Cardiotonic CNS depresant
Antitumor Cytotoxic Antispermatogenic.
Anti cancer drug
Vinblastine and vincristine are alkaloids found in Periwinkle
They are all administered intravenously in their sulphate form. These solutions are fatal if
they're administered any other way and can cause a lot of tissue irritation if they leak out
of the vein.
Although these compounds are very similar in structure and have the same basic action,
they have distinctly different effects on the body.
Most commonly used in treatment of the following type of cancers:
Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia
Soft tissue sarcomas
More recently, extracts from Madagascar periwinkle have been shown to be effective in
the treatment of various kinds of leukemia, skin cancer, lymph cancer, breast cancer and
Suitable climate in Tamil Nadu
In view of the tropical climate, a few regions in India such as Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu
are considered to be ideal location for cultivating Periwinkle. Both dry
leaves and alkaloids are being exported regularly.
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